Between work and personal projects, programmers tend to type 8 or more hours a day and it helps to have a keyboard you can type on comfortably. Something that wont kill your fingers or your hands over time. Mechanical keyboards fill this need. They have taken the gaming world by a storm and a lot of the hard core programmers I know don’t like using anything else. Now that more and more companies have started to offer mechanical keyboards as part of their lineup, it is really easy to get your hands on one.
For those who don’t know what mechanical keyboards are, you can read about them here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keyboard_technology. I got interested in them because my Dell keyboard (the one that comes free when you buy a PC) was starting to feel like I had to fight it to type anything. This made me start looking for an alternative. The first mechanical keyboard I tried was a DAS keyboard and now I don’t ever want to use a rubber dome keyboard ever again (except Kinesis freestyle 2).
Mechanical keyboards are a treat to type on and come in many shapes and sizes. If your fingers hurt when you type on a regular keyboard I highly recommend that you get a mechanical one. You don’t have to press the keys all the way to the bottom for the computer to know you pressed a key. This means your fingers face less resistance when typing. You will, however, have to practice not bottoming-out the keys (pressing the keys all the way to the bottom).
If this has made interested in mechanical keyboards and you want to get one. Here are some I recommend looking into:
- Filco Ninja or Majestouch 2 keyboards. Filco is, hands down, the best keyboard maker. Their keyboards are not backlit and don’t have macro support but their build quality is the best. Amazon is the only reseller that sells these in USA.
- Ducky Shine. Ducky is more of the higher end mechanical keyboards and they have the best backlit keyboards.
- DAS keyboard. DAS has been making keyboards for quite some time now and I love their design. Their keyboards, like Filco, are also not backlit
- Ergodox. This is an open source keyboard you will have to make yourself but it is very ergonomic and you get the satisfaction of having made your own keyboard.
- Fully mechanical keyboards by Corsair. Corsair has some very original designs for their keyboards. Their keyboards have no bezel making it really easy to clean them. Starting from K70, they are backlit.